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Friday, April 27, 2007

Toxins & Fertility

We are inundated with toxins. These toxins are in our food, air, water, toiletries, and homes. Many of these toxins not only adversely affect adult health, but these toxins can impair fertility with negative impact on delicate male & female reproductive systems, as well as on a developing fetus. Even low levels of exposure can result in health problems and to make matters worse, many of these toxins accumulate in our tissues over a lifetime.

Some studies have shown a horrifying generational effect of toxins. In these studies, pregnant rats were exposed to certain toxins. Not only were the rats offspring affected but the offspring for three additional generations were affected as well. That means what your grandmother was exposed to while pregnant can impact your grandchildren.

How exactly do these toxins affect your fertility? Only about 5% of the almost 80,0000 chemicals used in the US today have been tested for their reproductive effects. Nobody knows the full extent of the damage these chemicals are causing to our reproductive systems. The following are just a couple of examples of some of the toxins we know of and their effect on your fertility.


  • Vinclozolin is a fungicide used in the fruit industry. Vinclozolin blocks cell receptors that are normally activated by the hormone androgen which is responsible for male characteristics and the development and function of male sexual organs.
  • Methoxychlor or MCX is a common pesticide used to kill flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches & other insects and is applied directly to crops, livestock, home gardens, & pets. It was designed as a safer alternative to the now banned DDT. MCX alters a gene in the female reproductive tract and reduces the ability of the uterus to support embryo implantation.
  • Estrogen mimics wreak havoc on the human reproductive system. All humans, male and female included, manufacture estrogen. Cells within their bodies contain receptor sites for this estrogen. Estrogen mimics are close enough in structure to trick the body. These mimics are then able to attach to these receptor cells as if they were real estrogen. At best the estrogen mimics may simply block true estrogen from doing its job or they can totally redirect cellular behavior. In females these estrogen mimics can contribute to or cause endometriosis which is a leading factor in infertility. The mimics can cause males to develop without testes, with undescended testes or with abnormally small penises. Estrogen mimics can also contribute to testicular cancer and poor semen quality. Estrogen mimics are also found in paints, toiletries, pesticides, spermicides, & as a breakdown product of the plastics used in some water bottles and baby bottles.
  • Xenoestrogens are found in most commercial meat and dairy products as well as soft plastic food storage containers and plastic wrap (particularly after microwaving). Recent Italian research showed women with the highest concentration of meat and dairy in their diet had an 80-100% higher risk of endometriosis.
  • Phytoestrogens are found in plants, most notably soy. Soy contains endocrine disrupting isoflavones genistein and diadzen. There is evidence that soy consumption has been linked to infertility, increased cancer risk, and infantile leukemia.
  • The common pesticides Kepone, DBCP, & ethylene dibromide have been found to reduce sperm counts.
  • MSG has also been linked to reduced fertility
  • A number of toxic substances are found in fish, including: mercury, PCBs (which have been banned for decades), radioactive materials, stronium, lead, chromium, arsenic, & cadmium. These chemicals have been linked with autism, alzheimers, kidney dysfunction, infertility, MS, thyroid problems, and more.


Use of Phthalates, dibutyl phthalate in particular (DBP) which is one of the most common and potent reproductive & developmental toxins, is widespread. DBP is used primarily in nail polishes, but also in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, antiperspirants, sunscreen, gums, candy, & oral pharmaceuticals.

Phthalates are linked with reproductive damage in both men and women. They are considered dangerous enough that phthalates are banned in the European Union. Phthalates can cause low sperm counts, damaged or absent testicles, and absent prostate glands. They are also linked to premature breast development in girls.

Parabens, the second most common ingredient in household products are estrogen mimics. Parabens are found in bath products and cosmetics everywhere, including baby wipes. Parabens are linked to breast cancer, falling sperm counts, and hormonal damage.

To check the dangers of your cosmetics, visit the fantastic interactive website called Skin Deep sponsored by the Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org. You can research specific products on the site and find out if they have reproductive or developmental toxicity as well as other health and safety hazards.


Fluoride is the toxin prescribed to the masses without their consent. In animal studies, fluoride has lowered the total number of offspring, the total number of litters, and the number of offspring born alive. In other studies, countries with high levels of fluoridation in the water supply had a lower total fertility rate. Fluoride has been shown to cause hormone disruption and low sperm counts. Additionally, Chinese studies have found fluoride to cause neurological damage to children in early embryonic life or infancy.

Triclosan, also known as Irgasan and Microban - found in anti-bacterial soaps, dental care, cosmetics, deodorant, first aid products, small appliances, kitchenware, kids toys, and more. Triclosan is linked to decreased fertility, and altered sex hormones. cancer, allergies and weakened immune systems. In addition to creating antibiotic resistant bacteria, triclosan pollutes our groundwater from the chlorinated dioxins formed when it comes in contact with the chlorine in tap water.

These fertility impairing toxins are just the tip of the iceberg and no one know the true extent of damage that living in a chemical soup is doing to us and our fertility. If you think you are not being exposed to as many toxins as we list, think again. Most people are exposed to most of these toxins and to many more. This list is just a handful of toxins that are known to affect fertility. Your fertility can easily be affected by over the counter or prescription drugs. Alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs have a very direct and negative impact on fertility. Toxic stress can also be major factor in infertility, particularly in cases of "unexplained infertility".

The good news is that there is something you can do about it. First you can do your best to detox for fertility through fasting, high fiber diet, deep breathing, sweating with FIR infrared saunas or rigorous exercise, urban rebounding, herbal and nutritional detox plans, colon hydrotherapy, showers and baths in filtered water, and various kidney, liver, lung, gallbladder flushes, dry skin brushing, aromatherapy

Naturally if you are going through the effort to detox your body then you want to minimize any new toxins coming in. Think of your body as a boat. You can expend great energy bailing out the boat but it does not do much good if you are not going to plug the leak. Do not expect to eliminate all toxins from your life it is impossible. You can do your best by:

Do what you can to detox your body and mind then use this list as a guide to avoid re-toxing, and then get down to the fun business of making babies!

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  • posted by Fertility Goddess @ 11:52 PM


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